I'm a big fan on Dan Ariely (so much so that I just signed up for his Udemy course on Changing Customer Behaviour). PAYOFF uncovered some interesting truths about motivation that are very counter intuitive.
Who would have thought that giving employees a cash bonus would REDUCE motivation? In the book Dan runs through an interesting experiment that shows cash can be de-motivating, while free things like compliments can have a significant impact on motivation.
Dan talked a lot about what de-motivates people, his research suggest lack of purpose to be highly demotivating. When people fee like their work is pointless, they don't want to do it. Thus having buy in from employees in their work is important.
PAYOFF is a short book, I hope that Dan continues to write on the subject of motivation. I'm keen to see some further experiments on what influences motivation. Some of my guesses would be that transparency, purpose and accountability are vital.
I'm curious if motivation is more strongly effected by 'the carrot' or 'the stick'?
I'm sure that training can have an important impact on motivation. If someone doesn't know how to do their task, or if there is a lot of ambiguity in their task then these could be barriers to motivation...
I think that mastering motivation is a key skill in effective leadership. Motivated people get things done!